March 24, 2015 By Christian Murray
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer wants to save the Clock Tower and is confident that it will landmarked by the end of June.
Van Bramer said that he wrote a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in November calling for it to be landmarked. He said that he met with the chairwoman of the LPC last week who said she supports preserving it.
“It is incredibly important that we preserve some of the history of Long Island City and Queens,” Van Bramer said. “Development is happening every day and it was definitely under threat of being torn down.”
Van Bramer said that the building’s landmark status will be a big victory for preservationists who started a grass roots campaign about a year ago to save it. An online petition was formed that has generated about 1,500 signatures.
The building, which has towered over Queens Plaza since 1927, is deemed by its advocates to be one of the most significant landmarks in Queens. The building, historically known as the Bank of Manhattan Building, was the tallest building in the borough until the construction of the Citigroup building in 1990.
The steps toward landmarking the building are viewed as mere formalities at this stage.
The LPC determined this morning that a public hearing should be held, which is the second stage of the landmarking process. The public are open to testify at that meeting. The LPC has not yet set a date as to when it will take place.
The LPC will then review the testimony and is expected to approve it at a later date. The City Planning Commission will provide an opinion on it and it will then go to the city council for a vote.
“When it comes to the council I will support it 1,000 percent,” Van Bramer said, who holds sway over the vote since the building is in his district.
“I am confident that it will be landmarked,” Van Bramer said, adding that the Landmarks Preservation Commissioner supports it too.